Nipple-Areola Complex Malposition in Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: A Review of Risk Factors and Corrective Techniques from Greater than 1000 Reconstructions

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Abstract

Background:

Nipple-areola complex malposition after nipple-sparing mastectomy can be a challenging issue to correct. The current literature is largely limited to smaller series and implant-based reconstructions.

Methods:

A retrospective review of all nipple-sparing mastectomies from 2006 to 2016 at a single institution was performed. Incidence, risk factors, and corrective techniques of nipple-areola complex malposition were analyzed.

Results:

One thousand thirty-seven cases of nipple-sparing mastectomy were identified, of which 77 (7.4 percent) underwent nipple-areola complex repositioning. All were performed in a delayed fashion. The most common techniques included crescentic periareolar excision [n = 25 (32.5 percent)] and directional skin excision [n = 10 (13.0 percent)]. Cases requiring nipple-areola complex repositioning were significantly more likely to have preoperative radiation therapy (p = 0.0008), a vertical or Wise pattern incision (p = 0.0157), autologous reconstruction (p = 0.0219), and minor mastectomy flap necrosis (p = 0.0462). Previous radiation therapy (OR, 3.6827; p = 0.0028), vertical radial mastectomy incisions (OR, 1.8218; p = 0.0202), and autologous reconstruction (OR, 1.77; p = 0.0053) were positive independent predictors of nipple-areola complex repositioning, whereas implant-based reconstruction (OR, 0.5552; p < 0.0001) was a negative independent predictor of repositioning. Body mass index (p = 0.7104) and adjuvant radiation therapy (p = 0.9536), among other variables, were not predictors of nipple-areola complex repositioning.

Conclusions:

Nipple-areola complex malposition after nipple-sparing mastectomy can be successfully corrected with various techniques. Previous radiation therapy, vertical mastectomy incisions, and autologous reconstruction are independently predictive of nipple-areola complex malposition.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, III.

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